On our first Sunday in Bangalore, we decided to go around Bangalore and tour it ourselves. I’m not sure it was such a good idea. Hehe. We got an auto in front of our hotel who we asked to take us to Cubbon Park. The driver (Driver A) told us that he could take us to some tourist places in Bangalore for three hours for Rs.100. We agreed. On the way there, he told us that Cubbon Park is still closed (it was only 10AM) so he would take us to some souvenir shops first so we can look at some local products. We told him “no” since shopping was not part of our plan for the day. We still had three weeks left so there’s plenty of time to shop for souvenirs. Driver A told us that we didn’t have to buy anything if we didn’t want to. So, he took us to the first shop. They have some really nice handicrafts, some of them even reminded me of Philippine products. I saw some really nice decorative carpets and inquired about them. The shopkeeper said that it was hand-made of gold-plated thread and that the stones are real. I asked how much the small one was, it was Rs.21000. What?! Like I have that kind of money. After spending a few more minutes, we left the shop without buying anything. Driver A told us he’ll take us to another shop. We told him that we’re not going to buy anything but he insisted. He told us he’ll take us to a shop then to Cubbon Park for Rs.20 and that’s it. We relented. I remembered what I read in wikitravel about the rickshaw drivers doing things like this. And here we are actually experiencing it. The shopkeepers greeted us and they kept showing us some of their products. One of them asked what country we’re from and which company we’re working for. When we told him where we work, he said that we came at the right time ‘coz they’re giving a special discount for our company. My thoughts: “Yeah, right… That’s very convenient, isn’t it?” He probably would’ve said the same thing no matter what company we said we worked at. -_- KC took interest in some shawls (which were really pretty) and we were shown different kinds. KC and I each bought one after a bit of bargaining. Driver A took us to Cubbon Park and left us alone.
We walked around Cubbon Park and found the High Court. We just took a few pictures and decided to look for Vidhana Soudha which was suppose to be near Cubbon Park. We walked a long way under the sun and still didn’t find it. Finally, we surrendered, hailed an auto and asked the driver to take us there. Driver B also made a deal. He’ll take us to Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore Palace, Tipu’s Palace and Lal Bagh Garden for Rs.300. We agreed. From Lal Bagh, Driver B said that we can just take another auto back to the hotel for 50-60 Rupees.Vidhana Soudha is really beautiful. Unfortunately, tourists are not allowed inside and we could only take pictures outside which is being blocked by fences. 😦
Driver B then took us to Bangalore Palace. We paid Rs.350 each for the entrance. In order to be able to use our cameras, we had to pay additional Rs.600. Being the cheapskates that we are, we decided to use KC’s iPhone which would only cost Rs.100. The palace is really beautiful, very European. But I think that paying Rs.600 to be able to take pictures is just too much. We were handed an audio guide (available in different languages) to use which was a device with headphones that we were suppose to listen to while roaming around the palace so we’d know exactly what we’re looking at.
Grabbed the below photos from KC’s FB album.
After the tour of the palace, Driver B told us he’ll take us to a shop. Argh! We protested but we were not heard. He insisted and brought us to another shop where we didn’t buy anything. Note to tourists: the shopkeepers are really persistent. They will try to convince you to buy things you probably don’t need or even want. It’s a good thing I don’t have trouble turning them down with whatever offer they gave us (mainly because I didn’t really have the money XD). We left the shop and Driver B asked if we bought anything. We said no. He started driving again and mentioned something about Lal Bagh Garden. Wait. weren’t we supposed to go to Tipu’s palace first? We asked him and he said that it’s closed since it was a Sunday. Hmmm… KC asked if we could just atleast drop by and take pictures outside. Since it was a deal, Driver B took us to Tipu’s Palace which surprisingly was not closed. Driver B is a liar! Like every other men!!!
At Tipu’s Palace, we had to pay Rs.100 to enter. We took a few pictures inside (there wasn’t really a lot to see) and then left.
Driver B then took us to Lal Bagh Garden where we had to shell out another Rs.10 for the entrance and Rs.2 to use the toilet. We didn’t really see much here either. There was a clock and a glass house thing (which was closed and didn’t have anything inside) and lots of trees and plants. We tried to look for the Bonsai Garden but didn’t find it. Because of the heat, hunger (no lunch yet) and exhaustion, we decided to call it a day. Outside the garden, Driver C approached us and offered to take us to more temples. We said no. We just needed to get to Lido Mall (remembering to not say hotel). He said he could take us there, we just have to pay Rs.200. What?! We told him that Driver B said it will only be around Rs.50-60. He said that Lido Mall is quite far from the garden (which I guess is somewhat true). We told him no and he followed us lowering his price to Rs.150. We asked him to just use the meter. He said that using it will be a disadvantage for us because it’s really far. Yeah, right… Anyways, since we really just wanted to get back to the hotel, we agreed to Rs.150.
We got back to the hotel earlier than we expected and didn’t get to go to other places we wanted to visit but we really needed to eat and rest. It was a tiring weekend. I can’t say I enjoyed every minute of it but it was an experience nonetheless.
KC and I got ourselves some food from McDonald’s and just called it a day. I spent the rest of my afternoon and evening in my room video chatting with Jay. (^^,)